Not to be melodramatic or anything, but Meyer lemons are.my.life.
By which I mean I impulse-bought two big bags of them around Christmas when I had five million other things to think about, none of which included spending my days and nights pondering their fate.
And so now I've been making up for lost time.
It's hard stuff deciding the fate of these sweet-sour orbs of sunshine.
You want to make sure that you use each and every one of them to the best of your ability. And then at the same time you don't want to use them at all because what will perfume your kitchen with their intoxicating scent once they're gone?
And to top it all off, at least once a day, your boyfriend feels that it is his manly duty to inform you that he doesn't believe that Meyer lemons exist. Never mind that you shove one into his nose at least twelve times a week so that he can smell how different they are from run-of-the-mill Eureka lemons. Or that they are actually more of an orange-yellow than a pale yellow (and duh, if they're different colors they must be different fruits!). Or that he should just believe you because you actually know things about food whereas he still thinks that red delicious and granny smith apples are the only two varieties out there. (Blech.)
Talk about an emotional roller coaster.
And then, just as I was thinking that ice cream would be just the thing to calm my stressed-out nerves. It hit me.
Thankfully, the Bi-Rite creamery cookbook had all the kinks worked out for me, and the end result was a creamy sweet-with-a-hint-of-tang ice cream dream. So good, in fact, that now I spend almost all of my waking moments thinking about the despair that's going to befall me once the quart is gone. While the rest of the time I sneak spoonfuls of it from the freezer. Sigh. Yup, it's a tough life.
Some of you may be asking, "Joanne! Whatever are those little chocolatey-delicious spheres that you topped your ice cream with??"
Well, I'm so glad you asked.
The Hershey Company recently launched their new Brookside Chocolate Collection which pairs a delicious dark chocolate with various exotic fruit juice pieces such as pomegranates, goji berries, and acai berries. I was lucky enough to receive a tasting kit with these flavors and so in addition to just grabbing handfuls of them every time I passed my kitchen table, I also used them as a topping for this ice cream. They were a match made in heaven.
The kind folks over at Hershey have been generous enough to also offer a tasting kit to one of you guys! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what your favorite way to eat chocolate is. Also leave me a way to contact you if you are not a blogger. The giveaway will run until next Friday, January 25th!
Also on a fun note, I recently made a cooking video for Whole Foods featuring one of their products that's going to be on sale this week! You can check it out here!
One year ago...Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas, Feta and Swiss Chard and Quinoa, Fennel and Pomegranate Salad
Two years ago...Pasta with Ruby Chard and Cranberries
Four years ago...Brown Rice with Lime, Cilantro and Jalapeno
Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart, adapted from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
For the curd
- 3 Meyer lemons
- 7 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
For the ice cream
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- To make the lemon curd, put about 2 inches of water in the bottom of a double boiler or a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Finely grate the zest from the lemons into the top of the double boiler or the non-reactive bowl you will be using to make your curd. There should be about 3 tbsp. Juice the lemons and measure out 1/2 cup juice.
- Whisk the yolks into the zest and then whisk in the 3/4 cup sugar. Add the lemon juice and whisk to blend. Put the double boiler insert or bowl over but not touching the simmering water. Cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thick and pudding-like, about 10 minutes.
- When the curd has thickened, remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the ice cream base. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in half the sugar. Set aside.
- In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, combine the cream, milk, salt, and the remaining sugar. Put the pan over medium high heat. When the mixture approaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
- Carefully scoop about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and add it to the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking them constantly. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of hot cream. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
- Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1-2 minutes longer.
- Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath. Use the spatula to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Once the curd and the ice cream base are thoroughly cooled, put 3/4 cup of the lemon curd in a medium bowl. Whisk in the chilled base a little at a time until smooth.
- Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Enjoy right away or allow to firm up in the freezer for at least 4 hours.